Cycling Sally Gap
Ride 19.3 kilometers gaining 405 meters at 1.7% (2.9% climb only)
Climb summary from PJAMM Ambassador Stephen Rochford, Longwood, Co. Meath,
This is a beautiful climb up to the famous Sally Gap in the Wicklow mountains. Starting in the village of Laragh right beside the historic monastic site of Glendalough, we slowly ascend on a narrow road for 19km at just under 2% average gradient for a total gain of 361m. Not a tough climb by any stretch of the imagination but its length can sap the legs a little.
The first 5km are almost flat with just a few short ramps at the start as we roll up through the wooded valley alongside a small stream. Then comes the Waterfall section, 4km @5%. The view of Glenmacnass waterfall on your left and looking back down the valley is definitely worth stopping for a photo.
Shortly after passing the waterfall there is a brief descent and then the road continues to wind up towards the top of the gap for another 8km @1.5%. The trees have now disappeared and there are wide views all across the Wicklow Mountains National park from here.
At the top of the Sally gap there is a crossroads. Continuing straight on will take you to the final part of the
climb up to Kippure mast which is described in more detail here https://pjammcycling.com/climb/2740.Kippure . Turning left will take you down towards the village of Manor-Kilbride and turning right will bring you up the Lugalla climb and past the "Guinness Lake", Lough Tay, where the TV series Vikings is filmed.
Traffic in the area is usually light but can get substantially heavier at weekends and during the summertime. The road surface is generally good but there are some rough patches. The top section of the climb is very exposed and the weather can change quickly here. A south wind will make you literally fly up but a north wind can make this very challenging.